Thursday, March 28, 2013

Do Ghosts Bring Profits?

Of course.

“The Sun” is a daily national paper in the U.K.  This newspaper is a tabloid that has “a reputation for running stories based on few facts”. So in October of 2009 when they published a story about a theme park called “Thorpe Park” being haunted, I just enjoyed the story. This article stated Thorpe Park, located in Chertsey, Surrey England, had just opened a new thrill ride, called Saw for the Halloween season. 

This gruesome new attraction was based upon the grisly 2004 film Saw of the same name. Late one night after the park closed to visitors, six members’ of the staff had taken a Ouija board on this rollercoaster and held a session. Their bosses spooked at what resulted from this "innocent fun" * suspended these six because unexplained activity had started to occur. Guests reported feeling a deep chill as they entered the building attached to this attraction.

Employees reported that the ride’s “special effects” would turn back on after they had been turned off for the night. Doors were heard slamming shut and footsteps were heard in this area after the park was closed. The park brought a priest in to investigate. It was their hope that this man, a Reverend Fanthrope, the U.K.’s leading authority on the unexplained, would be able to solve this mystery or do an exorcism if necessary.

This article mentioned that the ride had not been closed. “Fright Nights” would continue as planned. The six park employees who were suspended were awaiting reinstatement once the results of the inquiry were in.

Now fast forward to “the rest of the story” as Paul Harvey would say.

In 2011, Thorpe Park broke ground for their latest attraction, a water slide, called Storm Surge. It was discovered that beneath this area lay an ancient burial ground. When the construction began, the trouble began.

The witnesses this time where “matter of fact” construction workers who spotted a strange apparition--the ghost of a monk. This group of construction workers didn’t care about the park’s profits. Park staff started to report strange incidents at the same time. Items were moved without cause and several felt a strong chill.

This time mainstream media conducted an interview with the park’s Divisional Director, Mike Vallis.

“It was apparent something strange was going on when teams started clearing Storm Surge’s initial site.”

“Staff reports of eerie goings-on shot up, and the only physical change to the park at that time, was the beginning of ground preparation work for the new ride.”

“As employees were getting freaked out, we decided to call an expert to see whether there was anything to report but had no idea of the dramatic effects.”

It was discovered the area where this 64 foot tall ride was being placed was once known as, “Monks Walk”. In this area was the footpath, which had connected Thorpe Church to Chertsey Abbey.

The park brought in a paranormal group from southwest London to investigate.

“We carry out these kinds of investigations quite regularly, with medium to weak results…”

“Thorpe Park, however, was more striking as results were picked up immediately, … reaction results strongest around the site were they are proposing to build Storm Surge.”

“The results were so strong, we felt an ancient burial ground or settlement was disturbed.”

The park then had a geophysical expert examine the site. Peter Masters from Cranfield University picked up “signature readings” which were similar to that of a burial ground or an old building site. After these investigations Thorpe Park decided to build their new Storm Surge attraction in another area of the park. This was at considerable cost. The new site was smaller and the ride had to be redesigned.

Was this just another marketing ploy or did the builders really think the site was haunted? You decide.

* Ouija boards are not innocent fun, they open portals.

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